Fred Barnes thinks the president is making a big mistake in going after House Minority Leader John Boehner:
President Obama has fallen into the John Boehner trap. By attacking Boehner last week—emphatically, repeatedly, and by name—the president made himself look desperate. And by treating Boehner as practically an equal, Obama elevated him. Boehner was delighted. Obama had helped him fill the leadership void among Republicans. For the president, that’s a negative twofer.
I agree. And it shows that this president would rather demonize the political opposition than hold to his campaign promise to be a postpartisan politician who transcended political divisions.
Barnes believes Obama’s attacks are “unpresidential.” He’s also believes the tactic smells funny, with the whole thing seeming “contrived” and looking “like it was seized upon solely because the campaign is going so poorly for Democrats and nothing else has worked.” I mean, one big time Democrat is telling the other Roger Simon that “2010 is gone for Democrats.”
It’s not just the desperate nature of the ploy that strikes us nor the use of one of the mainstays from the Democratic bag of tricks (the politics of personal destruction), we also note the choice of demon. The president and his allies in the media aren’t going after his predecessor like they once did. “What the demonization of Boehner indicates,” Barnes quips, “is that blaming President George W. Bush has lost whatever potency it had. Boehner is the new nemesis.”